Dwarf Cuban Gecko Care: Sphaerodactylus nigropunctatus

Sphaerodactylus.jpg

These tiny geckos  thrive in well planted tanks with high humidity. 

 Adult enclosure. 

Adult enclosure. 

Set-up:

Hatchlings are raised in plastic escape proof containers with screen tops. Adults are kept in Exo Terras with modifications to make them escape proof, as they can get out without holes being plugged. 

Scan 1.jpg

The tanks are started with a drainage layer of clay pebbles (hydroton), followed by a layer of fiberglass screen and sphagnum moss. These layers keep them soil mix from falling into the drainage layer. The soil mix we use is a mixture of peat moss, sand and orchid bark. Plants are planted directly into this layer and sometimes reinforced with sphagnum moss to hold more humidity around the roots. Leaf litter consisting of Magnolia and Oak leaves is added once the tank is done. These add hiding spots for these tiny geckos, as well as food for microfauna. The microfauna are the tank's clean up crew and include springtails, isopods and worms.

Live plants increase humidity and provide hiding and climbing space for the geckos. Because of their size, even delicate plants can be kept with them. I use a variety of begonias, orchids and pothos.

 Hatchling coloration. 

Hatchling coloration. 

sphaerohouse2.jpg

Nutrition: 

These tiny insectivores are ferocious eaters. As mentioned above, their tanks are seeded with dwarf white isopods and springtails, which in addition to helping keep the tank clean, they also serve as food source. 

The geckos are fed Melanogaster fruit flies every other, as well as occasionally pinheads and snails. All insects are dusted with a calcium and multivitamin mix. 

A shallow water bowl should be available at all times. Mist 1-2 times per day. 

Temperature:

Basking spot is kept in low to mid 90's F. The temperatures range down to about 77°f at the coldest part of the tank. A short temperature drop in the winter encourages breeding, as well as changing the day length with the seasons.